The tech giant Google is now planning to introduce a new strategy to gain itself at least half a billion more Android phone users. The main features of this new Android centric initiative will be comparatively smaller sizes of apps to be used on Android, improved battery performance (duh!) and drumroll – capability of functioning well in even 2G environments, which is really surprising. It is expected that this new framework shall help Google a lot in increasing its fan base, and for the same, the company is soon going to share with all the companies that right now are developing applications to be used on the Android Operating Platform a detailed plan on this new initiative by Google, which would be kind of a directive.
You may note that a lighter, simpler version of Android has already been launched by the name of Android Go, which is to be used on cheaper smartphones, which usually have way less storage space and inbuilt memory. This initiative has been introduced as Building for the Next Billion framework by Google, which is basically focussed on customers who are not active on internet yet (or started really late), are most probably uneducated in English language (primarily from South Asia) and use their phones for limited but varied needs.
lease note that this type of initiative seems well places as according to Google Data, Indians actually installed almost one billions apps per month using Google Play Store, which is in fact a whooping three times increase from last year stats. For such users, Google needs to have applications which are relevant, and work well for them, providing them incredible user experience – as stated by Ms. Purnima Kochikar who is currently acting as the Director, Business Development, Games & Applications, Google Play.
To lure such customers, and tap into this hidden market, Google has now created a basic plan which will guide the app developers to consider various parameters (which were ignored previously) while designing their apps – feeble networks, dodgy internet connections, battery draining features, and of course enhanced user experience as per the customers’ sensibilities.
These problems that people in South Asia, predominantly India face are now being discussed as more and more tech companies like Facebook and Google are now considering India as the hot bead for their otherwise saturated user base – and to have a market here, they are in dire need of understanding the social, economical and infrastructural demographics in these areas.
While on the other hand, developers who have been active in the Indian market for some time now like Moonfrog Labs, RailYatri, MakeMyTrip and others have already been trying to factor in these different issues while designing their apps. However, they sure have in the past felt certain boundations given Google’s unawareness of the grassroot problems of the Indian market.
The Westerners usually are blind to the connectivity problems Indians face – states Mark Skaggs who actually co created the famous game FarmVille, and is right now a Director for Moonfrog Labs. He also was the person behind the Teen Patti game, which is a much famous Indian Online Poker game. He goes on to add how Moonfrog actually had to create the game such as it could be run on 2G connections and still could have amazing, world class graphics. Kapil Raizada, another developer and co-founder, RailYatri says that usually the apps are from West, which means no one faces any of the above problems while using these apps.
You may note that Google in fact changed some features while making the YouTube Go which is the toned down version of YouTube for Android Go. This app does actually let the user decide whatever quality they want their video to be before they stream a video. It also lets users to download videos when they are near a WiFI, using which they can view the video later, something which only subscribers who paid could do.
Google has previously also attempted to broaden their base in India by using Android One in 2015, which resulted to be a toned down success. It remains to be seen what happens with this initiative but obviously we are excited as the company is attempting to make its way through a largely unexplored territory.